Project 333 Week Three Update

It’s Monday, so it’s time for another Project 333 update.  Week three of the challenge is now behind me and I have a lot to share with you today.  I made some additional swaps for items I had not yet worn, and I experienced some wins and some challenges during the week.  I also have four new outfits to show.

Some More Swaps Were Made

In last week’s update, I wrote that I’d made one garment swap since the challenge began. This week, I decided to make four additional swaps, all for garments not yet worn in the challenge.

I mentioned last week that I wanted more tops to wear with pants.  This week, I started to really doubt the need for so many skirts and tops for skirts in my Project 333 capsule. While I love wearing skirts and dresses, I wear them most often during our warmer months, which are generally July through October (we have strange seasons, such that they are, in San Diego).   I primarily wear pants during the other months, including April and May.  June is sort of  a “wild card” month here in that it can be very cool and overcast and not feel like summer at all (thus the oft-used term, “June Gloom”).

I’ve decided that the inclusion of so many skirt options in my Project 333 capsule was due more to “wishful thinking” than realistic planning.  I hope to wear skirts and dresses at least a portion of the  term, so I’ll leave some options intact, but I opted to swap some unworn items for tops to wear with pants.  I also brought in a favorite dress that can be worn with many of the jackets in my capsule.

What Left My Project 333 Wardrobe

I have removed five of the original 33 items from my April through June capsule wardrobe.  Here are the pieces that left, along with my reasons for swapping them out:

  1. Leopard print tee (mentioned last week – out due to flimsy material & sub-optimal fit)
  2. Grey/black ruffled tank (I decided four tanks are sufficient to wear with the two remaining skirts, so I swapped this one and the next out)
  3. Black embellished tank
  4. Long black sequined tank (I don’t need both a black tee and a black tank in the capsule)
  5. Polka dot skirt (opted to remove the least versatile skirt, which is also the one that had not yet been worn)

Project 333 Items Swapped Out

Additions to My Project 333 Wardrobe

The removal of the above items opened up five spaces in my 33-garment capsule.  Here’s what I swapped in and my reasons for these substitutions:

  1. White t-shirt (mentioned last week – added for versatility, goes with all pants and cardigans)
  2. Green/black striped tee (a favorite item, decided I wanted more prints in my capsule)
  3. Grey polka dot tee (same reason as above)
  4. Red long tank (love the color, coordinates well with all of my pants and cardigans)
  5. Leopard print dress (a favorite dress and yet another print item added to the mix)

Project 333 Items Swapped In

Final Project 333 Wardrobe

I believe I’ve now finalized my Project 333 wardrobe for the rest of this term.  I’m happy with all of the pieces, they work well with each other, and they are more suitable for the weather than my original capsule garments.  Here’s a snapshot view of my full Project 333 wardrobe as of today:

Full Project 333 Wardrobe Capsule

I’ve Worn 85% of My Items

As of the end of week three, I have worn 28 of my 33 items.  I really thought I would have worn all of them by now!  The garments that have not yet been worn are:

  1. Turquoise blazer
  2. Leopard print cardigan
  3. White embellished tank
  4. Striped tank
  5. Grey polka dot tee (just swapped in a few days ago)

Week Three Wins

I love sharing the positive aspects of my Project 333 experience and the ways in which I’ve grown through doing the challenge.  Here are my week three wins:

  • I continue to love each and every outfit I’m wearing.  Fourteen outfits so far and they are all winners in my book!
  • The compliments are continuing as well, even from people who don’t usually mention what I’m wearing.
  • When I took my wardrobe cast-offs to the local consignment boutique and thrift store, I was far less tempted to shop than I’ve been in the past.  While I did look around a bit and tried on a few garments at the consignment store, I left both places empty-handed!   This was pretty much unheard of prior to Project 333.  Now that I am only wearing things I love, I’m holding prospective purchases to a much higher standard (and I really don’t need much, if anything).
  • I’m also doing less online shopping.  Perusing e-commerce sites was a common hobby of mine in the past, but I’m doing it less and less often these days.  I’ve also unsubscribed from a number of fashion blogs and am considering paring the list down even further this week.

Week Three Challenges

The challenges I’m experiencing with Project 333 are decreasing, but I still have a few to share:

  • I still haven’t worn some of my capsule items due to cooler weather.  While I’m sure the weather will warm up later in the term (and we did have a few warmer days last week), I feel sad not to be wearing more skirt and dress outfits.  I’m glad I decided to pare down this area of my capsule and swap in more tops for pants.
  • I still spend far too much time on clothes and getting dressed. I find myself opening my closet at least once each day to create outfits and see which scarves, jewelry, and shoes I can wear with my capsule items.  I’ve also looked at my non-capsule wardrobe a few times since the challenge began, despite the recommendation in the Project 333 rules that we not do so.
  • Since I’m sharing my outfits on the blog, I feel a certain amount of pressure to have them all be fabulous and different.  Instead of just reaching for what compels me most, I feel the need to vary my outfits as much as possible.  I will try to let this concern go, as this blog is more about recovery from compulsive shopping than fashion and style.  But in the interest of full disclosure, I’m sharing my insecurities with you as well as my outfits!

Week Three Outfits

I’m actually surprising myself in how infrequently I “get dressed” to go anywhere.  While I knew I spend a lot of time at home in workout clothes (as well as when I’m out of the house for walks and workouts), I thought I still changed into “regular clothes” most days.  However, for both week one and week three of Project 333, I only had four outfits to share.  I’m not sure how typical this will be, but it’s worth noting.  If nothing else, it highlights the fact that I definitely don’t need 300 items in my closet.  I already knew that, but I’m starting to believe I need even less than I thought!

Below are the outfits I wore last week.  The first outfit is shown both with and without a coat.  I did not include coats in my Project 333 capsule, mostly because I didn’t think I would really need them.  This is only the second time I wore a coat this month, but since I love this coat in general and with the black and white, I decided to include a shot in my update.

Project 333 Week Three - Outfit #1

Project 333 Week Three - Outfits 2 and 3Project 333 Week Three - Outfit 4

Month One is Almost Over!

On to week four…  I hope to wear the five as yet unworn items by the end of the month.  Since I have a busier week ahead of me, I hope to have more new outfits to share with you next week.

If you’d like to learn more about how to do the Project 333 challenge, I highly recommend the “Dress with Less” microcourse from Courtney Carver, the creator of Project 333. 

As always, I welcome your comments on the blog and via social media. Have a wonderful week!

19 thoughts on “Project 333 Week Three Update

    • Thank you, Deborah! It’s one of my favorite colors. I lucked out, actually, because it was part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last year. I neglected to buy it then, but then saw it on sale in January for an even lower price. While I do shop too much, some of my purchases are winners!

      • You should come to work for us, lol! Our company color is cobalt blue, and a few times a year I have to wear this color for trade shows and company events. I call these items “CobaltWear” and they are kept separate from my “Project 66” wardrobe (which by the way is not down to 66 yet despite my enthusiastic purging and organizing!)–because I am so visually saturated by blue at work that I don’t wear it unless I absolutely have to, even though I look good in it!

        I noticed that everything you swapped out was heavy on the black. I like the stuff you swapped in, its more interesting. IYou really do like stripes, but you choose stripe patterns that flatter your shape. You have a very well proportioned figure which I would also describe as “willowy”.

        A well meant comment though–I noticed in the photo of you wearing the dress that your arms are darker than your legs. You should consider using some self tanner on your legs to even up your skin tone. The brown dress would look better with slightly tanned legs. I don’t know if you use self tanner–I am very fair with dark hair like you and self tanner is a staple of my summer, as I don’t lay out in the sun. My favorite one is Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer in Medium. It produces a subtle natural tan in 2- 3 days.

      • Deborah, I’d love to have cobalt blue as part of my uniform, as it’s a favorite of mine! You’re right in that the items I swapped out were mostly black (and grey). While I love the darker colors, it was definitely more versatile to add some other shades to the mix. I”m happy with the choices I made.

        Thanks for your compliments on my figure – always nice to hear! You’re right in that my legs rarely see the light of day. I’ve long ago made peace with my paleness. I used self-tanner many years ago, but didn’t like the smell and mess. It also turned my skin orange! I’m sure they’re making better products these days and I may opt to try them (thanks for the product tip), but for now I’m okay with being pale, even if my arms are darker than my legs. As I’m out and about more, my legs will likely get a bit darker, but I’m not destined for the “California girl” look anytime soon.

        Best of luck to you with your “Project 66.” It can definitely take a while to pare things down, but it definitely feels good to have less in front of you. I’m not sure what I’ll do when Project 333 is over, but since there are more than 2 months left, I’ll make that decision later!

  1. I appreciate your honesty in sharing what is working in your wardrobe and how you feel about things. I think the items you swapped in are much more versatile than the ones you took out. I’m impressed!

    • Thank you, Kirsti! I appreciate your taking the time to comment. At first, I was hesitant to make additional swaps and “break the rules,” but I thought others would appreciate that I’m not perfect and how I’m making the challenge work for me. I’m happy with the changes I made and have worn almost all of the swapped items already!

  2. I agree that the cobalt blue coat is fantastic paired with black. Why oh why I have such fear of prints I will never know. I have almost all solids (and most of those in neutrals), and if it were not for my scarves, I would look the same day-in and out. :)) I like your flexibility with your 333 project. Clothes and fashion are supposed to be fun, and it’s great fun to see how much one can come up with shopping the closet .

    • Cornelia, Many people have a fear of prints, including some of my clients. I usually try to help them ease into prints via accessories, including scarves, belts, and jewelry. Printed shoes and handbags (or even a bit of print trim) can also be a way to start easing into prints. Another way to dip your toe in the pool is to add a garment with only a bit of print on it (like a top with a printed waistband or with a trimmed print color).

      Thanks for your kind words regarding how I’m doing Project 333. I agree that fashion should be fun! I’m actually surprised with how much fun I’m having with my small capsule wardrobe and coming up with creative combinations. Even when the challenge is over, I hope I will be satisfied with less and not feel so compelled to buy, buy, buy all the time.

  3. It’s so interesting to find the difference between what you THINK you will need and what you actually need from your wardrobe. Thanks for sharing…

    PS I’m still trying to figure out what to wear with that Light Turquoise blazer in my own closet. I may just take it to a fabric shop and sew myself a top to wear under it…

    • Chris, I think that once someone has done Project 333 a few times, they are better able to decide what they need. It’s like packing for travel. I don’t travel all that much, so I’m still not that good at coming up with the right items to pack. But I know others who are amazing at putting together travel capsules. I suspect that I will be better at packing by the end of June…

      That’s a good idea to sew a top for your turquoise blazer. I’ve usually worn mine with black and white, but I plan to be more creative with it during Project 333. I will likely wear it with my green tank (with a scarf that incorporates both colors) and my leopard print dress (leopard is a “pseudo-neutral”), and maybe even with my maroon tank (that one is trickier, but I will try to make it work). I think that turquoise is actually more versatile than we think! If you’re a Pinterest user, you might try searching for “turquoise blazer” to see what comes up. It might give you some more ideas…

  4. Hi there Debbie,

    Thanks so much for sharing you experience, and for your honesty… reading about your experience with shopaholism is like reading my own story! Thank you! I’m in the process of setting up a blog too, with the aim of bringing together my experience with recovery…. I hope all is well with you.. keep up the good work! and it is very very good work!

    • Lucas, Welcome! I’m glad that my blog is resonating with you. I’d love to see your blog once you have it up and running. Please send me the URL so I can check it out.

      Thank you for your kind words and best of luck to you with your blog and your journey!

  5. Two thoughts:
    1) I think not deliberately trying to vary your outfits for the sake of your readers would actually be more instructive in terms of wearing what you really want to wear (and still looking good) instead of thinking about the camera.
    2) I know you weren’t ready to include shoes and accessories in your 33, but what about making a separate capsule for them? Might help with the amount of time you say you’ve been spending in your closet.

    • Renee, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You raise some good points! I especially like your first point and would like to do my best to take that on. I was actually talking to my husband about that this morning… I told him that if I didn’t know I was going to post my outfits, I might repeat things more often, especially if I will be around different people (which is often the case for me). I actually struggled a bit with my outfit yesterday because I didn’t want to wear something then and feel I can’t wear it again tomorrow (when I have an important meeting). Perhaps since my objective is to show a real person’s process with Project 333 (and with compulsive shopping recovery), I should not over-think things so much!

      Regarding your second point, I may opt to do that later in the challenge. For now, I’m just tracking which items I use to see what I’m most drawn to. Shoes are tricky for me due to foot issues, but my goal is to get rid of any shoes that are uncomfortable. I’m trying to wear them to see what works and what doesn’t, as it’s been harder to pare down this category than others (if that makes sense).

  6. Hi Debbie,
    I’ve only recently found your blog but I already love it! I see a lot of myself in your description of shopping addiction although recently I’ve really been trying hard to overcome it. You’ve also inspired me to do Project 333 very soon. Oh, and I think your legs look fine the color they are! Not everyone (including me) likes self tanner. I’ve actually tried several (Jergen’s included) and I don’t like the way they smell! Everyone now just expects me to be the whitest girl around, lol.

    • Kim, Welcome and thanks for your comments. I’m so glad my blog is inspiring you, both in general and in terms of Project 333. I recommend it, even though it’s scary to contemplate! I’ve already gotten so much out of it! I’m learning a lot about myself, my wardrobe, and my personal style (even though I do that for a living – LOL!).

      Regarding my legs, I’ve pretty much adopted the same attitude as you. I’m okay being pale. Yes, I’d probably look better with a tan, but it’s not high on my list of priorities at present. So I’ll join you in rocking the white look 🙂

      Let me know if you decide to do Project 333 and if there’s anything I can do to help support you.

  7. Debbie, you were definitely right not to send that beautiful blue coat to the charity shop – it is fabulous on you, beautiful cut, classic unfussy tailoring and it looks from the picture like great quality – all the boxes are ticked!

    Thank you for your blog – it has partly been the inspiration for starting my own – I hope you will read and comment – tips on improving very much appreciated. I’m doing it for fun and to see where it leads me…

    • Louise,

      Thank you for your comment and compliment! The blue coat was never on the “chopping block,” as it’s one of my favorites and was only just purchased in February. I love it, as I do many of my coats. The coat portion of my wardrobe is one of the best and I hope to get everything in my wardrobe up to that level in time. I’m on the right track…

      I’m so glad you like my blog and that it’s inspired you to start a blog! I just read your first entry and commented on it. I encourage others to read it as well at: If your first entry is any indication, your blog will be successful and helpful to many!

  8. That cobalt coat is gorgeous! My fall/winter coat is bright yellow and really cheers me up during our long winter (which has been especially cold and snowy this year). I really like the snapshot view of the entire Project 333 capsule. You see a strong core of basic colors with pops of color from the toppers. And the addition of prints is a great idea, prints help jazz up an outfit without much additional accessories. Last summer I added a lot of prints to my summer wardrobe, when it’s hot I don’t want to think about layers, necklaces or scarves for interest in my looks, a print is so easy! (And good for hiding sweat stains too)

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